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The Jerk (1979)

R  |   |  Comedy  |  14 December 1979 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 40,522 users  
Reviews: 119 user | 56 critic

An idiotic man struggles to make it through life on his own in St. Louis.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Navin / Cat Juggler (as Pig Eye Jackson also)
Richard Ward ...
Helena Carroll ...
Elvira (as Ren Wood)
Sonny Terry ...
Brownie McGhee ...
Blues Singer (as Brownie McGee)


Navin is an idiot. He grew up in Mississippi as adopted son of a black family but on his 18th birthday he feels he wants to discover the rest of the world and sets out to St. Louis. There everyone exploits his naivety, but then a simple invention brings him a fortune. Written by Tom Zoerner <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A rags to riches to rags story See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

14 December 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Easy Money  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Hartunian's gas station is actually located on the corner of Halstead and Rosemead Blvd in Pasadena, Ca. The gas station has since been torn down and a Carl's Jr. Restaurant has been constructed. In addition, the hill that the shooter is climbing to fire upon the gas station is "Green Hill", which has been developed into a professional office center. See more »


When the new phone books arrive, Navin finds his name on a right-hand page in the phone book. However, when the madman randomly chooses a name to be his victim, he points to Navin's name on a left-hand page. See more »


[first lines]
Navin R. Johnson: Huh? I am *not* a bum. I'm a jerk. I once had wealth, power, and the love of a beautiful woman. Now I only have two things: my friends, and... uh... my thermos. Huh? My story? Okay. It was never easy for me. I was born a poor black child. I remember the days, sittin' on the porch with my family, singin' and dancin' down in Mississippi...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Pig Eye Jackson - Cat Juggler (Steve Martin) See more »


Referenced in Rhapsody (2006) See more »


You Belong To Me
Sung by Bernadette Peters and Steve Martin
Music by Lee David
Lyric by Billy Rose
See more »

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User Reviews

This is the best Steve Martin movie ever!
17 June 2004 | by See all my reviews

Steve Martin was funny back then. I'm glad he is still around, but I sure wish he was still funny! The Jerk is a hilarious movie and he does such a good job you can actually almost empathize with his luck-lacking character. He invents a handle for eye glasses and makes a fortune. Of course that would not make for comedy so there is much more to it.

I can watch this movie to this day and still laugh my butt off.

If you haven't ever seen it, climb out from under that rock and find either on TV or go get it!

"I'm not a bum, I'm a jerk!"

7 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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